Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Something to Show For it.

What do we have to show for all of our hard work?  What do we have to show for all the children that we birthed, well, the children!  But, what do we have to show for all the times we've attempted to teach them something we figured they would never understand or remember?  Where are our awards for all the dinners cooked & not burned? For all the laundry stains we've miraculously gotten out of that favorite piece of clothing?  Where are the ribbons for First Place in Speedy Diaper Changing? Or the plaque for Most Dirty Diapers Changed in a Single Day?  Where are the ribbons for making it through another day?  Well, the new day is our award I suppose, but once again, my husband is about to embark on a new journey for him, for our entire family.  He will report to Officer Candidate School on Sunday, the 30th.  I could not be prouder of him.  He has received numerous plaques, coins, ribbons, certificates, trophies and titles these past 9 years in the Army.  I often become envious of all of his achievements & the fact that you can see them & touch them helping you to remember where you've come from & where you're headed.  I feel so inadequate next to him & as he proceeds through Officer School, I know he will get high marks. I know he will do very well & come out on top. He'll undoubtedly come back even more fit than he was before, which was pretty darn fit & me, I'll just be the same old unattractive size I've been since having the twins.  With him being gone for 12 weeks (the trial run) at first, it will be my first challenge with 5 kids to care for & not just 3.  And often when I see the twins wreaking havoc, they feel like 6 kids.  I have been challenging my own demons, banging & knocking them down each & every time I can, only to have another show me it's not quite done with me yet & just as I get a handle on that, will I be able to handle my own family?  It's nearly mind boggling doing all we do with Mark here, I cannot imagine how we will survive with him gone.  I know we will, but at what quality of living & what will it do to all my mental progress?  He asked me last night if I was scared.  I couldn't help but say, "Yes, wouldn't you be?" He had to agree I had the bigger burden to bear.  Well, at least we can agree on that & having someone sympathize with you can help a great deal.  I need another mom with 5 kids, a set of twins, a husband gone (12 weeks at first, a month break at home, then away again for 6 months!!), a 5 bedroom home to maintain, the entire family household's finances to keep up, doctor's appts. to go to to keep you from running away & a desire to be more, to be able to do more or be happy with where you are at.  Where are those moms?  

I had not looked at the header of this blog for quite a while & when I did, it instantly brought tears to my eyes.  I don't even know that Maria anymore. I don't remember what she was like, what she loved to do, how she made it through the day with a smile on her face.  I look in the mirror now & it's not the same woman.  This woman has sadness in her eyes, anger on her lips and regret in her heart.  This woman wears two sizes bigger than the girl in those pictures because she gave birth to twins, very healthy, wonderful, adorable twins who needed more room in her stomach than she could handle & now all that extra skin is lifeless and permanent.  And she doesn't have the time, energy or the faith to even try to do something about it, fearing all the hard work would only prove to do nothing, but make the lifeless skin more noticeable against a smaller figure.  The one & only thing that I know to be the same is the love she has for the main man in her life.  In fact, that love is even stronger because of what they've endured, but she feels unworthy to ask for this kind of love, yet she holds on with all her might praying he won't break when things get even tougher because she's sure that they will, they always do.  

I just wish I could take all my gratitude for my 5 healthy, beautiful, wonderful children; my gratefulness for a 5 bedroom home with so many nice things and closets full of necessities; my love for good things and good people & just magnify it so big that I can't deny that it's there, that it will overtake all the bad & cover it with good.  But, that's not reality, hahahaha, that's just stupidity.  I have to grapple and inch and fight my way through it all to get to the top where all that stuff lies.  

I'm tired.  But, there's just a little bit left in me to keep going, for today.

6 comments:

Chandi said...

I wish I could say I was one of those moms for you, but I am not. I wish I had some grand advice to give, but again I cannot. That's my mother's department. I do know about looking in the mirror and not recognizing yourself. I do know what it is like to wonder where that other girl had gone. That happier, spunkier, more playful version of yourself. Well, I believe those versions of ourselves are still there. I can see that you are still the same girl that I knew in many ways. Maybe you face demons now that you didn't then, or maybe they are just stronger. I think Satan has a lot to do with it. I truly do. I think planting doubt and uncertainty in the heart of a mother is a great way to challenge a family. Every woman faces that I think. Keep fighting it!!! I know you have been. Keep going! You will come out on top! I can tell you still have a zest for life. I can tell you still have spunk and personality from your writings. From the clever and fun things that you make and do with your kids. You have the love of a wonderful husband, 5 children, and many friends. I wish you the best.

Tara said...

You put everything into words so well, Maria. I can really understand how you feel, although we're in different circumstances, about feeling ungrateful and angry. I often wonder at myself how I can feel this way, when I obviously have so many blessings. I've felt so sorry for myself for the past few years, due to the nine years of grad school, living in a tiny condo, raising three wild, out-of-control boys without any help, and of course, feeling fat and hating all the excess skin (Zach weighed 10 pounds at birth - I get so big). It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I wish you well while Mark is gone - you are an amazing woman!

Jean Tagliere said...

My eyes fill with tears as I read this. I too can relate who is that women in the mirror. Who has she become? A women you can't seem to come to grips, a women so full of confusion, anger, wonder. So I may not have the house or the kids but I have that same mirror Maria. That is why you haven't heard from me much. I started an email a week ago and am still working on it but how do you put into words when you personally don't even know how you feel? I am sorry you are facing this all alone and for so long. I admire your dedication and strength. I wish you were closer because I would help carry your burdens. The only words I do have for you is do NOT do this alone. GET help! I know you tend to recluse when things get bad but don't. TELL people you NEED their help. I love you!

Sybil said...

Here is the best friend award, may your dinners always be delicious, your children always be clean, your bed always be made, and chocolate always be on hand for emergencies! I love you girl! You are doing great!

mom/caryn said...

It's been a looooong time since you've written, Maria. That is a worry. You express yourself with such passion and insight when you write about those things that frighten you, make you angry, overwhelm you, discourage you...
There isn't a woman on the planet who doesn't relate to how you feel. Even those that look to you as if they're living a "Norman Rockwell" life. Women whose homes are richly appointed, decorated elegantly with just a touch of whimsy, and are perfectly organized. Those whose figures are annoyingly trim, whose children have combed hair, are clean and dressed in clothes that match, right down to their shoes and socks. They may have husbands who are constantly missing in action, either at work, or living in his own world where she has been shown in the subtlest of ways, over and over, that she is not welcome. Que es verdad...over time, indifference is harder to live with than chaos.

None of that helps YOU feel any prettier, wittier, more on top of life. Words just can't do that. Ohm, how I wish they could. You've been offered some beautiful words from friends who care so much about you. Even if the language doesn't lift you... perhaps the knowledge that there is such caring and concern and support for you behind them will. At least a little, huh?

It's the sorry state of woman that we always feel like less than we want to be... like there is something deeper, more satisfying.
I can only pray that you savor those moments when you watch your children at play and a tender pride swells within you. Record them, in your memory and in your diary. Pull them out and replay them when dirty dishes, toys scattered everywhere, and a broken washing machine are making you want to climb in the back seat as Thelmas and Louise drive off the cliff. When a noise quotient that would drown out a Boing 747 at take-off robs you of whatever tiny morsel of sanity is left... remember them and let them wash over you with a brief glimpse of contentment. We only get to soak in those moments rarely. So try to gather them and hold them close and commit them to memory. Take as many pictures of them as you can. You are so good at that. Please know that you are loved and thought about often...and by many. I'm only one member of the Maria fan club.

Jenelle said...

Hi. I don't know you at all, but stumbled on your blog through a comment you left on chocolate on my cranium. Anyway, your post has me in tears. I relate to you so well. In fact, that is why I found your blog - I have three very small children - one age 3 and twins who are almost two. I saw you mention you had twins and wanted to find how you were doing it. Did you feel as alone and overwhelmed and frustrated as I did, even with all my blessings? Then I saw you had FIVE kids in total and your husband was in the military and probably gone often. I saw a picture of you hiking with your family when the twins were babies. I saw a princess party. I almost stopped reading your blog because I was so depressed - how were you doing it with everything you had on your plate? Why can't I do it? And then I found this blog and post. It actually made me feel so much better. I can't stop the tears coming as I write this. I feel EXACTLY this same way. I know this post is old and you probably are long moved on from that now. But I feel right in the middle. We moved to Switzerland about six months ago and while I love being here and all the experiences it brings, being here is also a lot harder than I thought it would be. Mostly because it is me and the kids every single day. I feel so inadequate with what is on my plate. I am taking my precious semi-"alone" time while the twins nap to write this. Any advice you have to give would be great. Maybe I just need to know it will get better and I am up to the challenge. I often feel bad for not doing more. I hate the weight I've put on since having the twins. I don't recognize me anymore. That really struck a cord with me. Anyway. Thanks for reading.