Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting Back

This afternoon, my husband came home early from work. He'd worked late last night, because it was parent-teacher conference time at his school. Since he'd worked until 5:30pm yesterday, he was able to head home at 10:30 this morning. We had some errands that needed running, so by the time he actually made it to our house, it was around noon. And I'd just put the littles to bed for their naptime. With the older boys at school, the house was empty. Quiet. And perfect for reconnecting. For finishing not only a full sentence, but an entire conversation. For holding hands and talking. And laughing. And planning. We had two whole hours before the first of the kids was expected home from school. What to do? Well, here's what we did.....we reconciled our bank statement and crossed off cleared checks, and set a budget for the next week, until we get paid again. Okay, so not too romantic, but in our world, even the opportunity to do THAT together and in peace and quiet is welcomed and greatly appreciated. After that we had some cuddle time. It had been a while. Okay, a really long while.
We were also able to discuss the stress that is really just general life with a houseful of kids and how the struggles we've experienced this summer have been due to us not making connection with each other a priority. We tend to procrastinate, put off important things, heck, we put off anything that can possibly be put off, in favor of making it through the things that MUST be attended to TODAY. Then, things tend to pile and pile up on our plates until each day becomes an exercise in survival, in getting thru the absolute essentials, wading thru what is demanded of that day, that hour. Then, going to bed late, and rising early the next day, just to repeat this process. We've become very snippy and short-tempered with each other, and often, with our children. Our home seemed to have lost its status as a haven for us to retreat from the rest of the world in. I must admit, that many days, I haven't really ENJOYED my time with my kids, or my husband...I've just...waited for the day to end.
We've worked hard to make changes. Albert quit his second job. The one that meant he left the house at just after 6am and returned home after midnight. The one that left us only the weekends for family time, much of which we'd spend arguing as we were both exhausted from our week, Albert from work, and me from tending ten kids alone for the week. Of course the down side of that is that the second job was also the one that allowed us some wiggle room in the budget..the one that made it so we weren't living a very tight paycheck to paycheck. But, given a choice between a little more financial security and a lot more marital security, I'll take the latter any day. It's helped. Quite a bit. The stress load has lifted somewhat. The dark cloud that's hovered above us since summer has lifted.
Much of that has been due to the restructuring we've done in our relationship. Here's the thing. I like to be in control. The biblical concept of marriage is a hard one for me at times. I don't like giving up any portion, bit or relic of control, especially when it comes to MY family. MY children. In a perfect world, I'd really just love it if my husband went along with whatever I wanted. But then, if he did, it wouldn't really be a perfect world. He'd be miserable and likely, so would I. So, we've been practicing really hard. At listening more than we talk. Which is a tough one. For both of us.
Last Saturday, Albert was able to get away with just Drew to the homecoming game for the school he teaches at. Because now weekends aren't the ONLY family time we ever have, so it's okay if we don't spend every waking moment of them together. And tonight, I escaped to a Pampered Chef party. Never would have happened if Albert was working the second job. Of course, I didn't BUY anything at the party...because, well, Albert isn't working the second job...but I did come home to my hubby cuddling on the couch with Sydney (who had been put to bed much earlier, but was caught painting on herself and her bed sheet by an older sibling passing by and had to be washed up and changed and somehow was now enjoying staying up late with Daddy because of it...but that's another story). And I did get to lay on the couch with them and watch three back to back DVR's episodes of N.C.I.S. and it was fabulous.
The changes in our relationship and in our friendship with one another are bringing us back more and more to the days before the start of this not-so-favorite summer, back to when our relationship was ever easier and more loving. And I've missed it and am glad to be getting back. It's a one step forward, three steps back type of thing..but we're getting there.


Anonymous said...

I hate money! It just causes trouble! Glad you'll have more time with Albert now!
Stopping by to let you know I'm still here praying!
Psalms 59:16-17 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.
Prayer Bears
My email address

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