Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just . . . a lot

A lot has been going on with me and our family the past few weeks.  Things have settled down now and I am grateful and Mr. Q and I are working hard to fix the things that aren't right.  I am lucky and grateful to have him as my Valentine (even though he is a PITA* sometimes.  Evidently I am a PITA too !)

As I look back on the past few weeks to think about what was making me feel off, a few things came to mind.  I realized that I had read WhyMommy's post about starting with hospice, Dooce's post about her separation, and watched the reunion of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills where they talked a lot about the abuse that Taylor suffered through.  I'm susceptible to the pain of other people and I have to be conscious of that to not let it unduly affect me.  I learned that when I started working in student affairs many years ago and I had forgotten about that part of my nature. 

Coupled with some weight gain and feeling pulled in several different directions so I haven't been able to exercise regularly, and I was tense.  Not cranky, but tense.  Mr. Q was tense because of his own stuff and my own tension meant that I wasn't handling his tension well.  The girls picked up on it and responded as is typical (and appropriate) of children and everything was just sort of a HOT MESS around our house.

In spite of all that, reading her post about hospice and assuming that WhyMommy was in the process of dying changed something in me.  All the times I had read her beautiful posts about her children and all the times I reminded myself to be more kind, more gentle with my own husband and children, yet it came down to that day she said she was going to use hospice.  I've yelled unconsciously at my children 1 time since then.  I've raised my voice consciously, but that's fine with me.  It's the unconscious yelling that I don't want to do.  I feel guilty about this, and wish that it didn't take a beautiful person going in to hospice to affect this change in me.

It still took a couple more weeks to sort things out with the rest of our family, but I *think* we are back in a great groove now.  I'm skipping a meeting to be able to exercise tonight instead (this is huge for me).  Mr. Q and I are back on track, and we've figured out a key thing to dealing with an area that used to cause tension: bedtimes.  Preferably, one of us needs to not be home at bedtime or at least completely unengaged.  We've been practicing this for a couple weeks now and last night I was able to lay on the couch (bad, bad headache) and Mr. Q handled bedtime and it was very, very smooth. 

I wish I could have blogged more when we were off-track, because I think it is so important to be honest about these times.  When I occasionally would mention it to friends, I really appreciated their validation that marriages/families take work and that although things go off the rails at times, it's possible to get them back on.  What I also appreciated was that talk of difficulty in a marriage/family didn't make anyone jump to conclusions, because it's not about that.

More on this later . . .


Rachel et Natalie said...

having to deal with old/dying parents makes us feel of course vulnerable but makes us realize that every day should be enjoyed to the fullest. Yossi would say "do not sweat the small things when it comes to our kids" and I agree with him.

Elaine said...

I think there are points in every marriage when you look at your partner and have to say - we're in a bad place, but we're worth fighting for. With everything we have we're worth it. And it may or may not be because there are kids involved. It might just be because you can still remember why you decided to enter the union in the first place. And then there has to be this recognizable moment when you know you're back-sliding, and you repeat "we're worth it". And sometimes, you have to repeat it a lot. But it doesn't mean you have to be discouraged or upset, it means you have to work at it. In really bad times, I ask myself, what is the one reasonable thing that I need for partner to do to right this ship, and what can I do to make this thing that is bothering me be less of an issue on my end? And don't expect the partner to react right away. Hell, it might be months before they decide that the thing you've identified is important. I always ask myself, is it my issue, or is it our issue?

Underneath it all, you and Mr. Q. can always remember that you have a deep and abiding respect for one another - and I suspect that will carry you far in your lives together.

Laurie said...

I think it takes a lot of perspective to notice when something completely outside the marriage seeps in and starts to cause havoc. On top of the daily grind on any marriage with kids, those additional sadnesses or struggles can cause us to stumble.

You and Mr. Q seem to have a lot of strength and compassion to keep coming back to each other to talk and try new things and get back on track. That's what true love is all about.

Marya said...

What courage it takes to be authentic enough to see the truth about a situation and then work to "fix" it. Your husband and daughters are blessed to have you.

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