Joining http://wifeofasailor.com/ for another Thursday Thoughts Link up. It’s been a while since I joined, but I love this week’s word. It is very appropriate for where I am right now. The word is Purpose.
Last month I officially quit working to become a full time stay at home mom. This happened at about the same time as both my kids started school. They are both going full day this year. I have had many, many people ask me, “What do you DO all day?”
This is a decision Armydad and I made together. Right now it is just not feasible for me to work outside the home. I have to be ready to drop everything and rush Thing1 to the hospital at a moment’s notice. Both boys have therapies. Five days a week, I am shuttling and supervising therapy as soon as they get out of school. So, if I were to look for a job, these would be my requirements: work 8-2 on weekdays, have 2 Wednesdays a month off by 11 because the boys have early dismissal, miss at least one day a month for doctor visits, off work on days school is out or my kids are sick, and need 4-6 months off with a moment’s notice. See? Not possible.
So, I have been struggling with feelings of guilt. What is my purpose now? I am home alone 6 hours a day. What am I supposed to be doing then? I thought the purpose behind this was that we are supposed to do foster care. But, honestly? I am loving my kids at the age they are. I keep asking myself if I can really start over? What would I do with a baby during our million therapies and doctor visits? I have never been at a place where I was content with the thought that I could be done with 2 kids. Here lately I have been feeling like maybe I am content. Maybe this is all I want. Both my boys have needs that have to be met. I know I could handle a third child, but the thought that the child might also have needs overwhelms me. Can I handle three special needs kids? And my husband and I are both the middle of three, so we vowed to never have three. Which means, if we decide to have more, we would be talking about at least 2 more. Do I want to do that?
Maybe this is it for me. Maybe my purpose is to be a kick ass mom and advocator for these 2 boys. And you know what? I think I’m okay with that!
Joining up with Wifey of a Sailor again this week for Thursday Thoughts.
Life is full of decisions. From the moment you wake up: what to have for breakfast, what to wear, which chore to do first, etc. Then there are the big decisions in life: who to marry, when to have a child, should you switch jobs.
Our family has made many decisions over the past few months that will have lasting impacts on us. I made the decision to pursue the transplant evaluation then to list Thing1 for a transplant. As a result of that decision, my husband was brought home from his deployment early.
We made the decision to send our boys to different schools this year. Thing1 will be at the same school with the nursing staff. Thing2 is going to our neighborhood school. They just started full day kindergarten this year and we decided that is the best place for him to be, academically. It makes things harder for me because I have to put one child on the bus, then drive the other every day.
Two weeks ago, I was given notice by the family I have been caring for. They were moving and found a center a block from their new home where both kids could go. It is a great move for them! I opened my home back up to new kids. Unfortunately, I have not found any. I am being very up front about Cameron and his health status. As a result, the parents are choosing to go with other providers. So, we have decided that later this month, I will be closing my in home daycare. I am scared that we won’t be able to make ends meet, but I cannot lie to the parents. Cameron’s transplant is too important for me to hide it. We are also in the process of adding more therapies. Four days a week, the boys have therapy outside the home after school. Which means, in order to continue doing child care, I would need to find kids that leave by 3 or pull the boys out of all their therapies.
Decisions are a constant part of life. I strive to be firm and comfortable in my decisions without second guessing myself. I am not always successful, but I try…
Learning has always been so easy for me. I skated through school, taking advanced placement classes without putting any effort in. Typically I spent less than one hour studying each day in high school. It was easy and just came to me naturally. Because of that, I am struggling now. A lot.
You see, learning doesn’t come easy to my kids. They have to put a lot of effort into it and see little progress. During Thing1’s kindergarten year, we would both often be in tears while working on homework. He just didn’t get why 2 and 2 makes 4. And I was biting my lip fighting the urge to scream, “Because it just does!”
This year will probably be even harder. Thing1 has not officially been diagnosed with dyslexia, but testing done prior to listing for transplant shows enough markers that the doctor was comfortable saying he will have dyslexia. (It is not usually diagnosed until after completing first grade, at the earliest.) And Thing2 has autism and is very defiant when trying to do things like homework. I am so glad Armydad is home because it is going to be brutal trying to get homework done for both boys. Neither of them are educationally at their grade level, either.
I am still learning how to do this learning thing. How to teach my children, not only to learn, but to LOVE to learn. Because I want them to love it, like I did…
Wife of a Sailor is hosting a link up today with the writing prompt: beginnings.
Beginnings could be so many different posts. I was a little overwhelmed with what to choose at first. So I decided to go back to the basics and share the beginnings of my path to being an Army wife.
About 5 years ago, I was in love with the show Army Wives. Armydad would occasionally watch it with me. One night after a great episode, I turned to him and and said, “You should join the Army so I can be an Army wife!” He got this weird look on his face. My next thought was “Oh shit! What did he do?” He told me that he had been thinking about it for several months and had been praying about how to broach the subject with me. He thought I would be completely against it. I stayed very calm and told him that I thought he should go meet with a recruiter and find out if it was doable. My top concern was the pay. I ha always heard soldiers don’t make much, so I didn’t know if we could make the career switch and take a pay cut.
It took him a few months to finally get up the nerve and go talk to a recruiter. We found out it would be a pay cut, but not as much as we had thought. And the path Armydad wanted was doable. So we spent a lot more time thinking and praying, then he finally made the leap and signed on the dotted line!
Our projected Army path has taken MANY changes since we made that decision to begin the process, but we are at a place where we are both comfortable and content.
I had many more awesome ideas for care packages that I didn’t get to use. I was going to do a Christmas in July package, a movie package, a homecoming package, and several others. Instead I got my husband home early! Hopefully you all enjoyed my care package ideas. Maybe it served as a little inspiration for some of you!!
This week, my sister had a sweet, little baby girl. When she originally told me she was pregnant, she was trying to bribe me into coming home and told me that I could be in the delivery room with her. I didn’t figure it was possible. Then we found out Armydad was deploying. I asked her if she was serious. She was! So I told the boys we were going home! We would be there for Thing1’s birthday. I started keeping a casual eye on plane tickets waiting to see if I found any crazy sales. Then, in April, I had to take Thing1 to the hospital. We learned over the next few weeks that he was likely getting worse and that transplant might become a reality. I couldn’t make plans to go anywhere until we knew for sure. Once he was listed, I knew for sure that I would not be seeing my sweet niece enter the world.
The worst part about this life is that I miss these events. Army life makes it hard to see our family. When you add in Thing1’s medical issues, it becomes almost impossible. At this point, we will not take Thing1 more than 2 hours from the hospital because he would have to be removed from the list temporarily. And I will not leave the state while he is on the list. Post transplant, I could possibly go on my own, but will not be comfortable traveling with Thing1 for many, many months. There are way too many germs on planes… So, my sweet baby niece will likely be a toddler before I ever hold her. So, so hard. Most days I love my life and love living where we do. Some days, it just stinks though…
Yesterday my oldest turned 7. I cannot believe how time has flown. Didn’t I just get that tiny, smushy baby placed in my arms? How did he get so big? We did an Army guy birthday party theme, so Daddy took Thing1 yesterday and got an Army hair cut. He looks way too old with a high and tight…
I am so thankful for every day I have had with him. I suspect the next year will bring us lots of tough days and challenges. We are ready. I pray he has a good year, that he grows, learns, and develops. Even more, I pray that one year from now he is still with us and doing well.