Monday, October 10, 2011

Deep thoughts....

I'm just feeling a little rotten tonight. (Gah.... how often do I preface a blog post with that, or something like it?)

But today has been hard work. Shane was on Communion at church, plus he was playing drums, so he was there early and had all that added stress. Then I realised that I was on the roster for morning tea, so I made brownies which were a dismal failure, and consequently was very late for church, only arriving in time to hear the last part of his Communion message, plus I slipped in the shower and hurt my back. But I honestly am trying to keep myself from having a bit of a pity party. It just feels tough being a Mummy sometimes. You're the last priority.

I'm hesitant to write too much stuff about my marriage and Shane here, because (a) this blog is read by people who know us, (b) I think it's not really that fair to write about a relationship when you only have one side of the story and the other person has no opportunity to speak their piece and (c) I make it a general rule to only speak good about him. I will let him know when I am unhappy- sometimes I do that too much! But I feel that men get enough trouble poured on them in the world without having the one person who is supposed to love them running them down, and really is there anything worse than hearing a wife talk about how bad she thinks her husband is?

So as a result I keep fairly quiet, or else I only try to talk about the good things. But then I was thinking, is that necessarily right either? I want this blog to be accurate. I am trying to make a bit of a record for my children, (with an added dash of therapy for me)... but I don't want to make it seem like everything's peachy all the time either. Because I hate it when we try to paint everything as perfect, when it just isn't.

Side note: I've noticed it seems to be very hard for people (me included) to just tell it how it is. We either exaggerate the good and downplay the bad, or else we magnify the bad and minimize the good... why is that?

On the other hand, I don't want to air out my dirty laundry here either.

But, marriage is hard. Relationships are tough. I think I'm just finding the whole stay-at-home Mum thing a bit difficult at the moment. It's hard, not earning money. I don't know why earning money matters so much, but I am amazed at how hard it feels not to. Plus it doesn't help that I am not the money-earner, yet I seem to be the money-spender. Not that Shane ever really tries to make me feel this, but I still do.

It's also hard being pregnant. I think I'm just a little all over the place at the moment, and I am so, so tired. I just want someone to take care of me. I must admit, I just feel like Shane doesn't really care about my pregnancy or what's going on with me right now. I know it's not true, and I know that he probably could wait on me hand and foot right now and I'd still be unhappy. Plus he is dealing with a lot at the moment too. But still, between Georgie being an extra handful lately, me trying to organise things for the baby, plus trying to adjust my diet and get in more exercise just in case I do have gestational diabetes, and the general cooking, cleaning and everything that comes with being a wife and a Mum... I just feel like doing my best Shannon Noll impression [What about meeeee?]

I think this parenting gig can also be tough when there is one parent who does so much of the primary parenting. Shane works 14 hours most days, he's not home every night. Some nights he only sees Georgie for 15 minutes before she goes to bed. So when he has a weekend off (like he has this weekend) he sometimes watches some of my parenting practices with.... trepidation. Which bugs the heck out of me.

I must admit, my style of parenting is pretty laid-back. But in my defense it has to be. I cannot watch Georgie every minute of the day because I would go insane. Also, I have things to do. It is impossible for me to have a shower, clean, cook, blog etc while watching her at all times. So she does roam the house pretty freely. I have made the general area of the house very, very kid-safe so that she can. I am also more of a 'wait and see how she goes and see if she really needs help before I step in' kind of parent. Georgie has not hurt herself badly (yet) and she is quite cautious. I would probably be less laid-back with a different child, but I know Georgie and her capabilities and she is pretty okay most of the time. So when Shane makes comments on my practices, it's hard not to get my back up.

But tonight, after a few cranky words and me having a good cry. I was thinking. Who takes care of Shane? I am constantly wanting him to take care of me, but it does work both ways. I feel like I am giving and giving, but maybe I need to watch myself a bit more. And yes, I do 'do' a lot. But with what attitude? Because honestly, sometimes when people do things for me with a huge air of sacrifice, I'd rather they just not bother. Am I guilty of that with my husband?

When was the last time I tried to enjoy him? I don't mean little moments of gratefulness and joy. But actual, long-lasting contentment. Granted he is imperfect. But it's not up to me to change him. And have I been looking to him for more than he can give?

I think Hollywood is responsible for so much of our screwiness (yes that is a word. a good one). There is nothing more romantic than that scene in Jerry McGuire when Tom Cruise says "You complete me." Don't you just melt a little? But really, it's a load of codswallop. You look to another person to complete you and you just won't end up whole. Maybe I've been relying on Shane a little too much to fix things, when in fact is he is just another messed-up person like me who is incapable of making it better?

God is the only one who can complete. I need to be turning to him a little more. Granted, it's hard. I don't know about you, but sometimes it feels a bit... useless to me, turning to God. (Oh Lord, I am a bad Christian). But honestly, that's how I feel. Sometimes it feels like you can turn to God only to get a great big fat nothing in response. But maybe I'm doing it wrong? Maybe too often, I am telling God how to fix things, telling him exactly what I want. Not asking for his help. He will give what I need. His ways are not my ways [Isaiah 55:8] He may not give the way I want him to, but He will give in ways that are lasting. His waters are those that will quench all thirst. [John 4:14]

Yep. Need to remember this stuff.

So, bottom line, Shane could probably do more. But marriage is hard, and I am not responsible for what he does. I am responsible for what I do though, and I need to watch my own attitude and make sure I am looking after him as well. I also need to look to God to fix my problems a little more instead of Shane. I wish I just already inherently knew all this stuff sometimes...  I seem to learn so slow!


  1. This is a good post, lots of food for thought! Thanks Robyn x

  2. So true Robyn. We do get so wound up caring for the kids, we expect our husbands to look after us, when it's a too way street.

    I don't think this was at all disrespectful to Shane. It was beautifully honest, and real.
    And I hope your back feels better soon.

  3. It sounds like life is pretty full on for you at the moment!!!! Make sure you remember to look after you too!!!

  4. Make sure you take some time for you, Robyn. So very important. But I get this. I really do. xx

  5. Thanks for this post Robyn. I appreciate the "telling it like it is". And, I know the temptation to turn to our husbands to fulfil our needs, rather than turning to God. This is a good reminder.

  6. I can identify with a lot of your sentiments. I do a lot of the parenting myself, due to my husband's work commitments. The thing that I'm slowly learning to work out is to tell him how I'm feeling, because he can't read my mind. Thanks for being honest, and make sure you can take some time for yourself.

  7. Thanks for sharing this. I too am struggling to figure out what's fair to expect my husband to do- he does work a full time job, and that's hard. I don't want to be one of those wives who is controlling and demanding...and yet, I work too, surely all the housework and child rearing shouldn't be up to me?

    I also get what you mean about feeling like you get a big fat nothing in response from God. My baby won't sleep at the moment, I throw up my arms and beg God to send him to sleep so I can get some myself- and he stays awake for another few hours. I'm trying to pray instead for God's energy and patience...but golly it's hard.

    Once again, a fantastic post- thank you!

  8. This was a really good post. I think pretty much all of us struggle with the same things from time to time.
    I know this is a bit depressing to hear, but I think the first few years as a young family are just unavoidably tough and there's not really a way around it. I imagine there are wonderful moments, but from what I've seen - not yet experienced obviously, though all that is about to change! - it's basically a hard slog. I'm bracing myself for it as much as I can, though I know it's still going to be one hell of a shock.
    That's not to say you should suck it up and get on with things. I'm a big believer in having a wallow when things get nigh on unbearable, then having a chat about it with the husband, and then trying to get in a frame of mind where I can get on with it. I'm sure it will get better at some point.
    And is there some way you can get a break now and then, to take some time out for yourself? After all, everyone does need and deserve some 'me time'.
    What I do know from experience (almost 10 years of it) is that marriage is bloody tough. Tough enough itself at times without the added pressure of parenthood. Sometimes it feels like you just have to find the strength or means to be able to ride it out and trust better times are ahead. So I think you're on the right track with your faith, and turning to it to help you find that strength, or perspective, or whatever it is that helps.
    And I don't blame you for getting your back up if hubby gets a bit questioning about your parenting. I would too! I might be a bit militant about this sort of thing, but the way I see it is that while ever he is working the way he is, it means you guys have pretty much decided that his job is the one outside home, and yours is the one at home. That's not to say he doesn't have a right to opinions and input - or that it gives him a completely free pass from all the housework/jobs around home! - but you are the one doing it day after day (and night after night) and, as you say, you know your daughter and what works for her, so ultimately it's your decision how things are done. It's not like you tell him how to do his job (at least, I doubt you would).
    As for not earning money, I get where you're coming from with that. I think our culture is to blame. It's commendable to have one that encourages us to do our bit, but such a shame that it seems to focus on money. Because what you are doing is incredibly important too. But still, irrational as it is, sometimes you can't help feeling like you have to work twice as hard because you're not earning the money. Bloody hard when you have a husband working the crazy hours yours does!
    And please don't take this as a condescending thing, because that's not my intent, but remember you are still quite young - though you strike me as being very mature. What I mean here is that the 20s can be hard too. So much to figure out! I've still got a lot to learn, but I do feel much more satisfied, and simply comfortable with myself and life, I guess, compared to 10 years ago. Tell me to bugger off if it feels like I'm being patronising!
    I could go on and on about all this kind of stuff, but have probably said enough and bored you senseless by now, so will leave it :)
    Fingers crossed brighter times are just around the corner though xx

  9. Thanks for all the comments! Emma- you wrote a whole essay there :) Don't worry, it wasn't patronizing. It's nice to get feedback and know that I'm not just talking to myself! Thanks for what you said :)

  10. I really enjoyed this post too Robyn.... and can empathise with some of your sentiments. It's great you are learning this stuff in your 20's.... believe me it's much harder to be learning it in your 40's like I am!


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