Thursday, October 30, 2014

I hate being a SAHM: A story in progress.

So I've been feeling kind of down this week. I went and saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show last weekend with my sister, and it was one of the most astounding times of my life. I had so much fun, and was practically drunk off the energy and excitement of being at the theatre to see it. It took us 10 years to make the trip to see it, and it was something to cross off my bucket list.

It's made being home and not going out this week seem even duller and more unbearable than usual. It's hard to get back into the swing of things when all you can think of is Frank-N-Furter telling you to "Don't dream it, be it.", and just wanting to dance the Time Warp one more time.

Even with all that, I came to an amazing conclusion yesterday. If I can internalize this thought and own it, I think I'll have transformed my life.

I hate being a stay-at-home mum. There. I've said it. (Spoiler alert, this isn't the transformative thought.) I've never had a job where I felt so devalued and under-appreciated in all my life. I hate the drudgery, the same boring things over and over every single day. Nothing changes, I never have anything interesting to talk about, and instead of embracing this lifestyle, I cringe from it. I spend way too much time online avoiding my real life because I'd rather be doing literally anything else than cleaning and tending the kids.

I say that now, but it's something I'd never admitted out loud until just recently.

So then what's the transformation thought that I was speaking of?

It started last week, when I was visiting with my sister-in-law, and I told her how I wanted to go and finish my degree so I could teach, and help bring up the next generation of future leaders of the world. I want to be a worthwhile member of society because I certainly don't feel like I'm doing that now. She looked at me like I was crazy and asked me what on earth did I think I was doing now? I have 4 children, who's raising them if not me? That had a profound effect on me because I'd never considered my role as a mother as a teacher too. I never viewed my job here as 'real work', it was just something to be endured until I could get out of it.

On a related note, one that gets us closer to the culmination of why I'm starting to change my view, I was called to be a nursery teacher a couple months ago. I'm LDS, and in my religion many of the teachers and leaders of the local churches are volunteers, so this was something I do of my own volition. I've got to admit, I don't like small children. I don't relate well to them, I don't get along with them, and I don't feel like I make any difference in their lives. (Feeling like I make a difference in anyone's life could be a post all of it's own accord though.) I went home and cried when the bishopric asked me to serve in this calling because I was terrified I would be an epic fail and I just knew I would start to dread Sundays. I said to myself, "I come to church to get away from MY children for a couple hours, why on earth would I want to take care of 10 other children during that time?" I very hesitantly took the calling, and tentatively showed up after Sacrament to tend those little ones.

And now the point of this post. I realized yesterday that teaching nursery and being a mum aren't so different. I'm making a difference in those children's lives just by being there, being a good example, and helping lead the way for them. Being a stay at home mom might not be glamorous, or exciting, or a head turning conversation stopper, but it has worth. I have worth for doing this every day. My children need me to be there for them. They need my guidance. They need me to teach them, just as much (if not more) than those future students I want to affect one day.

It might be hard, but I CAN do this. I can keep the house clean, be a supportive wife, and I can be a better mother to my kids. I'm taking small steps to get to where I want to be. I know this will always be a work in progress, but I feel like just by acknowledging this misconception of mine, I've already made a big change. I don't clean regularly every day, but that's just one aspect I need to work on. I don't have a consistent routine with my kids right now, but that's going to change too. I don't listen as well as I could, or serve my family's needs as well as I feel I should, but once again, just another process to changing me.

I have fears about my ability to do this, but I can't let my fears keep holding me back. My therapist has told me over and over again that I'll stay where I am until my desire to change is greater than my apathy for the status quo. I think she words it a little differently, but that's the gist of it. I want this. But I'm eating this elephant one bite at a time for once. I've tried to make changes before and have always slipped up and failed. I've just given up because I've tried to change too many things at once and overwhelmed myself. I'm not doing that this time. I've got small things that I'm doing every day, and I'm taking it. One. Day. At. A. Time.

The biggest thing I'm doing at this very moment is my effing assignments I'm given in therapy. I've never even attempted to try anything outside of my sessions to change myself. I've always told myself it'll never work, so why try it? I'm only on day 5 of doing my work everyday, but I'm so proud of myself for lasting even 5 days. It's been hard, and I've had to make up a day, but I've still stuck with it. This WILL become a habit with me. I can do it. And if I can do this, then the whole world has opened itself up to me. If I can do this everyday, then I can do the dishes everyday. That can become a habit. I can do a couple loads of laundry every day. Another habit. I can have music and quiet time with my kids. BOOM! One more habit. I can cook dinner every night. Yup, another habit.  Exercising a few times a week? Uh huh, no problem. And once I've gotten all of these things down, maybe I'll be organized enough to be able to handle going back to school and running the house. My ADHD brain is terrified of that, yet excited at the same time. I'm so disorganized, and so terrible at completing things, and I've beaten myself up about it for years. I've got to find a way to make being ADHD and bipolar work for me, and not against me.

I can do hard things. I can. I will. One bite at a time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I dreamed a dream...

This tears me up every time. One day I'll be brave and go for what I want in life too. And with any luck, I'll be just as big of a smashing success as she is...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Like a broken vessel...

So I've been making some changes to myself the last little while. I've been trying to do Scripture study regularly, and be a better person. The biggest thing I've been doing is listening to Conference talks about faith, and about knowing God better. Today I felt compelled to listen to this talk however, and as usual, it brought me to tears. It's such a poignant, applicable talk in today's world, and I want to share it with all of you. 

"Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee." 

That quote hits home with my so strongly because I frequently tell myself something similar all the time. I tell myself, "The night is always darkest before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming." I know it's a Batman quote, but it's helped me through some truly dark hours. It's amazing how movies can do that sometimes. 

Anywho, without further ado, here is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk on coping in this world when you have a mental illness.