Thursday, October 9, 2014

People pleasing

You know who I really envy?

I envy those people who just don't give a damn.

I have spent many months and more money than I would care to admit in therapy discussing my issues with people pleasing. As much as I'd like to tell you that I have clear boundaries and priorities and don't let other people's expectations shake me, I don't. I've gotten better- you have to when you juggle parenting, working, graduate school, and family.  I know I can't please everyone, but I spend a lot of time agonizing over how to juggle life- asking permission from two out of three superiors to take this night off or turn this in late or leave early. 

Who's been there with me? Your kid gets sick, can't go to daycare. You take the day off. Your hubby gets sick and now you're taking care of two with a paper due in three days. Just as everyone is feeling better, your throat feels like it's on fire and you have to take another day off. 

While you're out, you miss two important deadlines and your kid eats goldfish and yogurt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

I realize that I may be perceived as a flake, even when I feel like I work my ass off everyday. 

My parents have been so wonderful to keep reminding me that it's a season. And I'm sure when and if we have another child, I'll wonder what the heck I was so stressed out about back then when I only had one. 

I guess what I'm hoping is that my husband and I aren't the only jugglers here- that other people out there feel pulled in twelve different directions. 

And I'm also hoping that I can extend the same grace to you as I hope you do to me- because I know we are all doing what we need to in order to keep it together.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Here's to all the things you won't remember...

At precisely 10:58 am (or 10:57?) tomorrow, you will be exactly a year old. I do not have your father's way with words, but I do have a year full of memories that I want to make sure I record before they disappear.

Here are 365 things I remember about this year, one for each day you have blessed us with your life.

Just kidding. That would be ridiculous. Here are eight things I remember about this year.

1) You were a spitfire from the first minute I held you. I remember thinking you smelled really good, and that you were really pretty, and that I was so happy that you were actually a girl and I didn't have to go back and figure out a boy's name.

2) The nurse's first instructions to me as she wheeled me to the recovery room were to feed you every 2-3 hours during the day and 3-4 hours at night. What a joke. You didn't sleep a 4 hour stretch until you were 6 months old. You also didn't go 3 hours without eating until maybe last week. I took this picture of you on our first night together. Everyone had left, and I was awake with you. You refused to let me put you in that weird hospital Tupperware, so I spent two nights holding you in my arms, but terrified I would drop you, so I didn't sleep. This was the moment I remember falling in love. I still think you look really pretty here.

3) You still love it when I babywear. Thank goodness, because sometimes it's the only way this mama gets anything done.

4) You turned me into a hippie mama. You slept on me for the first four months of your life. Yes, on my chest. For months. (I thought I would miss that but...I don't. It was really sweet but also exhausting.) You also were a nursing champ. I'm not going to get all militant about breastfeeding, but it has been the one thing in this entire year I have felt that we really got the hang of.

5)  From day one, you've always made your will very clear. I spent countless hours with you wrapped in a Moby, doing mini-squats and lunges to keep you from crying. You used to hate riding in the car until, that is, we discovered your love of Taylor Swift music. I will forever be indebted to her for quieting my sweet baby. Sometimes you yell at me until I get down on the floor and play hide and go seek with you. I think you're a force to be reckoned with.

6)  You love to play the piano, the xylophone, the Baby Einstein's hoping you got some of your daddy's musical genes, because your mama can't carry a tune in a bucket.

7) I'm really thankful that you like to laugh with me. Otherwise, I'd feel even more awkward about the silly faces I make in public, or the number of times I jump out from behind a door and yell "BOO!" to your utter delight. I hope I'm not on The Truman Show. 

8) You turned our worlds upside down. This year hasn't been easy. If we had sat down with a financial planner in 2013, he (or she) would have LAUGHED at us for getting pregnant while we were both in school and employed as a writer and a public servant.
But you know, this year has taught us more about God's provision, the blessings of family, and the importance of keeping your priorities in check than we ever could have learned on our own.

So here's to you, my darling Scarlett fox. To celebrate, I have baked you a cake (allergen free, of course), thus finally showing you that my love language is truly carbohydrate based. May we always share a love of chocolate cake and sarcasm.