Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stretched Too Thin

I'm going to vent for a few moments. Some may take offense to my venting, but I have to do this (vent) for my own sanity and health as well as for the health of my husband, children, and unborn baby. I'm not a confrontational person. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid confrontation at all costs. I am also the type of person who will do anything and everything to help out those I care about. But I've finally reached my limits.

I guess you could say my desire to help out those whom I care about has come back to bite me in the butt. I've been helping a very dear friend out for the past 6 weeks by housing her and one of her children in my home. I've allowed my home to be turned into upheaval, my children's lives to become invaded (although in many good ways as well as they have had to learn to share as never before), and far too much unneeded strain to be placed upon my marriage and relationship with my husband. My husband is like me in that he also wants to help those whom he care about and so he was on board with helping this friend of mine. The situation is far from ideal in the best of times, but throw in the fact that I am pregnant and things just get harder. I've had to balance tending to my own children, meeting their emotional needs, my usual housework, and limited time with my husband only to have shoveled upon my shoulders coping with my friend's child, expectations that I help her with her child in every way, the added housework from the presence of another family, and I won't even get into the financial impacts it's had on our budget that is already stretched so thin we can only manage to pay our bare essential monthly bills with GREAT juggling (due to a summer of pay loss from one of my husband's sources of income). In short, it's been 6 weeks of hell in many way.

And this is just meeting the needs of one friend.

I've had another friend who had a baby and wanted me there with her through her labor. I did so. And came home to get only 3 hours of sleep due to the presence of small children in my home (namely one very loud child). While my friend apologized for her son disrupting my much needed sleep (sleep needed if I wasn't pregnant), she failed to do what most people would have: take the child out for a few hours so I can sleep.

I've had friends texting me and calling me late at night needing advice or help on things such as car seats, breast pumps, nursing bras, pumping, breast feeding, labor, birth, and much much much more. These are not unusual calls/texts for me to receive, but throw in the sheer chaos of my home, the fact that I am pregnant, I am sleep deprived, and have not had a place to be my sanctuary to go before the Lord in quiet and read my Bible, pray, or even just have peace and I'm stretched too thin.

I am finally standing up. I am saying no. My mom has been encouraging me to say no for a while now, and I guess it's taken me having ongoing painful braxton hicks contractions, running away from my own home to avoid confrontation and chaos, and strained relations with my husband (b/c I'm not the only woman in my home who is begging for his time and friendship...poor, poor, amazing man...Thank you God for SUCH an amazing man!!) for me to start saying No.

No.


No.


No.


I will NOT watch someones child at midnight when I am sleep deprived, tending to my own sick children, AND working on homework. It's not my responsibility. Find another option. (if the above factors are not in play, then yes...I'll most likely watch anyone's child)


No.


I will NOT get up at 6am to help you pick out a car seat. I will sit down at the computer at 8am or 9am after I have woken up on MY terms, cuddled with my children and husband, fed my children and myself, and am sitting down to the computer.


No.


I will NOT drive across town to help you (a proverbial you) with what ever else mundane need is that you have.



I. Am. Done. I finally realize that I need rest. I need peace. I need calm serenity. I need to be alone with my husband. I need to be alone with my children. I need to cuddle with my children, to be in the best form I can be to tend to their medical needs when they arise. I need to rest for the very life of my unborn baby. I need to be able to resolve an argument with my husband without an outside audience. I need to be able to clean my kitchen without choking back language that I do NOT want my children hearing b/c I resent that I am (once again) cleaning up mess that is not our own. I need to not find that I am spending more time going before the Lord seeking repentance and forgiveness for the un-Christ-like thoughts and feelings I have been having than I do seeking his desire for my life and the life of my children. I need to be able to work on my homework in peace.

My husband can only help me so much. He works full time, is a full time student, and helps out around the house as much as he can. He does not have time or energy to cater to any additional needs, and I do not need to find myself having to beg for more from him because I'm helping everyone else under the sun. I have no family to take my children for a few hours so I can sleep, and no friends have offered to step up and help me out in any way shape or form despite my helping them out in every way I possibly can. No one. Out of all my friends.

I don't expect my friends to help me out. I offer to help (and yes, it IS offering...genuine offers from a truly genuine heart seeking to help others...not some false sense of obligation) because I want to help. I don't expect any offers in return. But you know, once in a while just the offer would be nice. Even if I don't accept the offer, just getting one is nice. We mothers need to help one another.

So, for the time being...I'm done. I will continue to offer to help in any way that I can, but I will not allow myself to feel guilty for not offering, and anyone that tries to play the guilty card will be shown the door, or politely have the conversation ended. If I think I can help, I will. I still feel this is how God wants me to minister to those around me. But I will cut back. And I will instead put that time back into my daughter's education, my children's spiritual upbringing, reading the Bible with my children, my relationship with my husband, and more important than ANYTHING else, my relationship with my Lord and Savior.

I guess more than anything else, I just needed to get this off of my chest. I know that only one person really reads my blog, but I still needed to get it out. If anyone reads this and wants to discuss it, remember that I am not a confrontational person, and avoid fighting at all costs. I won't allow my stress level to rise any higher than it already is and endanger my health or the health of my unborn baby. Discussions are fine, but if it starts to get mean or angry, I will end the conversation.

I love my friends. I love you all VERY much. I pray for all of you daily, that God will protect you and your families, that He will Bless you and your families. I pray that no one will take this blog the wrong way. I am venting. Venting. Nothing more, nothing less. Venting because I have to get this off my chest, and putting it down where anyone can read it makes it seem more...real; like my decision is more resolute.

Again, I love you all and thank you all for your friendship.

2 comments:

Guinevere Meadow said...

If I lived closer, I'd help you!

G, you are an amazing woman. You care for your family, and anyone else who needs it. You have been such a blessing to me, and I'm sorry if I haven't let that be known to you.

There is a time for everything. You have spent so much time caring for others, now it is time for you to take care of YOU. You won't be of any use to anyone if you don't tend to your own needs.

If there's anything I CAN do, please let me know!

MrsKC05 said...

Me without a vehicle right now makes it hard to take the children...otherwise I would..Iknwo they would love the park, or...not at my house...it is strange and foreign to them. I do sincerely and greatly apprectiate you being there in teh delivery room with me..It meant a lot to me, and I know it was ALOT for me to ask. I know I've said it before, but thank yiou thank you thank you.
Things will start to return to someewhat normalcy...and your friend is right...now is the time to focus on you. Let me know if I can do anything tohelp. YOu know I want to. Just let me know how