James and I got into a bit of an argument the other day. We really, really rarely argue about anything so I knew I had to figure out what led to the whole silliness. Was it me? Was it him? Was it us? Or was it our life that is totally getting out of control busy?
If you take a look at my Instagram or Facebook posts you can see how beautiful our life is. It truly is. We are blessed beyond the hopes and dreams we’ve shared with the Lord. Our little family is everything and even more than we’ve ever prayed for. Our adorable boys bring us indescribable joy. They are home with us at all times and we love it. James’s business is doing well and he’s living the life he always wanted. I was able to quit my corporate job to stay home with the boys and concentrate on changing the world in one way or another. We truly have it all…
Every single day we run out of time.
We create a plan of attack on Sunday evenings and by mid day on Mondays we slip of the plan because things get into the way. We list ‘no matter what’ tasks: Bible study, workouts, meditation; things that would help us stay centered and grounded. We wake up earlier and earlier each day and still half do them, if at all. By Wednesdays we are both stressed, tired and thrown off balance. We become snappy with each other and the kids. We fall into going through the motion: Morning -> Evening. Breakfast -> Lunch -> Dinner. Feeding -> Nap -> Feeding -> Nap… Our conversations start evolving around what we didn’t get into instead of the joys we experienced on a given day. Or we just completely shut down and stop talking all together. Sometimes silence is so much better for a tired soul.
Our family has a very strict routine, not by design but it’ there. If possible, James and I wake up before the boys do and we try to rush through our workouts, bible study, meditation. Notice I said rush. That’s right. We don’t give all we have to those most important tasks. We rush through them so we can almost finish. Most of the days the boys wake up way before we are done so we miss out on our ‘me time’. We then eat breakfast, have a family time on the back patio or go for a walk to the playground. Kade takes a nap. James starts working. It’s lunch time. Another nap. Play time combined with assisting James who’s working throughout all the naps. Another nap. Dinner time. A quick walk if we have time. Bed time for the boys. More work for both of us. How is it midnight already??? Bedtime.
Every single day.
Navigating throughout an actual physical obstacle course. Navigating throughout an emotional rollercoaster. Navigating. Not floating down the peaceful river but truly navigating through the messiness of our routine.
The physical navigation is somewhat easy. With help of a cold coffee throughout the day we have enough energy to keep moving. Some days we feel like ninja warriors, other days we step on lego humans, trip over weird looking toys, and slip on the books. Some days we have dance parties, other days we lay on the living room floor all day and move as little as possible. Some days are exciting and full of fun, others are full of tantrums and tears. We always rush to do things and to get into places and lately we are always late. The one thing is always constant – the navigation through it all never stops.
It’s hard but we got it covered.
However, the emotions that come with all that chaos and business are too much to handle at times.
Do you ever feel like you are the best mother one minute and the worst mother one minute later? Best and worst wife? Smartest and dumbest? Happy and angry? Calm and furious? Grounded and distracted?
I don’t know about you, but I feel like a total failure whenever those negative feelings creep in.
And so does James.
Last night Kade was wide awake so I had some extra time to think about our life and routine that comes with it. Were we always this busy? When did we become masters of adding more and more to our plates without taking anything off? When did non-negotiables become low priority? When did dates become strategy meetings for our businesses? What in the world happened to our lives and why did we allow it? When did the days get so much shorter?
While deep in thoughts I looked at Kade. He was cooing as loud as he could while trying to stuff his hand in his mouth. Oh the joys of getting first toothies! It wasn’t fitting so he opened his little fist and started with one finger. Then added another and one more. He stopped at three because the fourth finger would require stretching his mouth. Then he tried to add another hand. It wasn’t fitting so he went back to his initial three fingers. Still cooing joyfully and drooling all over with the happiest look in his eyes.
And there is was. A huge epiphany.
Our days did not get any shorter than what they used to be.
We try to staff way too much into every single one.
And I think our biggest downfall is that we try our best to do everything as a family.
We want our boys to be always with us and we want to be near them.
We take time away from ourselves to help each other.
We lost the sight of what each of us wants and our goals became shared which skews the vision at the end.
At the end, nothing gets done.
So I decided that it was time we separate.
The thought devastated me. I started crying and looking for another option. But there wasn’t any. It had to be done. Very soon. Before we both become so overextended that we lose a sight of what really matter.
Breakfast is a family affair. I cook, Bud helps me, James helps, Kade watches us.
James will take over breakfast. Bud will help. Kade will watch. I will work out. We’ll separate and switch.
Moring non-negotiables. I will do them freely while James takes care of the boys. The next day James will have his turn. We’ll separate and switch.
Family time. We’ll do it one day. Next day it will be mommy time. Following day it will be daddy time. Then family time again. We’ll separate and switch.
We will discuss our businesses, share our dreams, come up with ideas to expand together. But than we’ll have to separate. He’ll have to do his while I’ll do my tasks. No more hovering over shoulders and getting distracted. We’ll separate and switch.
We’ll keep separating and switching until we create enough space to truly enjoy the life we’ve been given. The dreams and hopes that came true.
We’ll keep separating and switching until we feel grounded, present, and happy again.
We’ll keep separating and switching until we find a new rhythm.
And we’ll keep praying that the separation will not feel as devastating as the idea of it feels at this moment.
Our argument lasted about 3 minutes. Then we pigged out on honeydew melon and popcorn while talking about the boys like nothing ever happened. Those 3 short minutes felt like 3 hours. I hated seeing hurt in my husband’s eyes and I know he hated seeing it in mine. Neither of us want those 3 minutes extend to 5 then 7 then 9 and so on.
We both want it to stop.
So we’ll keep separating and switching.
Keep praying and loving each other.
And maybe one day we’ll even learn to take things of our plates and not add any new ones…