Grief. It’s such a weird word, so short, simple, to the point. The world doesn’t teach you about grief growing up, instead, grief is learned, it’s experienced, it hangs over you in the most trying, complicated times in your life. You don’t get a preparation in grief until one brief moment and it’s all you know.

Grief:

ɡrēf/
noun
  1. deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.

Grief just kind of happens, one minute the world is fine, you live life the way you’ve always lived. Then it’s just there. I don’t think grief ever goes away, not in a way that you can go on living life the way you did before. It never leaves you, hangs on into the darkest corners of your heart and mind. Some days you may not feel it, you may even have good days, but then the grief creeps out slowly. Sometimes, you’ll be able to go on with life keeping it at bay. There will be other times where it’s crippling, where it can take over your entire world.

It’s been 8 years since my dad died, but there are still nights that I relive the day he died, over and over. There are times where the void is so obvious that I can’t even think about getting out of bed, actually living. I still find myself thinking of telling him things when they happen. There are times when I can’t go places because the memories of being somewhere with him, or pictures of him break my heart. Sometimes all I want is to surround myself with his brothers and sisters, his parents, and just be close to him. But there are days that seeing them hurts even more. Grief doesn’t stop.

Caiden would have been turning 6 this year. Our baby, who should have grown up with us, who should have reached milestones, only lived 18 days on this earth. Each day of his life spent in a dark hospital room, in an incubator. I got to hold our sweet darling baby twice while he was living, and once while he took his last breaths. But there are nights that I find my arms aching for our baby. There are days where Lucas and I talk about Caiden and it doesn’t ache, because I know he’s with God and PawPaw Ralph. More often than not though, it’s like a dark cloud hanging over me. I wonder why me, I wonder what he would have looked like, sounded like. I picture his laughter, and his tears. I wonder if he would have needed to cuddle to sleep every night like his little brother. I wonder if he would have been as ornery and loving as Kash. I wonder if he would be as brave and resilient as Evelyn. Grief never ends.

There are supposed to be 7 stages of grief. It makes it seem so easy, like once you reach the seventh stage it’s done, you’ve made it through. Sometimes though, just a thought, a picture, a moment will bring you right back to the beginning. My life will be forever haunted by grief. Wondering if I made the right choices, if I could have changed things. Maybe if things would have been just a little different I could still have my dad around, and my sweet baby in my arms.

Sometimes I go days,even weeks, where I have it all together…today, however, is not one of those days. Not even close.

As I sit here holding a sleeping baby watching the boys play I look around the house and feel like a failure.
There are dishes in the sink, laundry baskets patiently waiting to be folded, diapers in the dryer waiting to be freed. There are crackers and crumbs on the floor from snack and dinner times yesterday. Today I lost my cool and yelled, hard, because the boys were fighting and the baby was getting into things and I felt immensely overwhelmed.

Lucas looked at me with terrible sad eyes and asked me if I still loved him.
Of course I love you, I replied, I will forever love you even if you do things I don’t like.
We shared a giant hug, I gave the boys big bowls of cheerios and I took Ev to get a bath. I needed a reset. Ev could play, I could regroup, the boys were chilling with cereal and a movie.

Sometimes my house looks like a tornado hit and the kids and I only survive the day.
Sometimes we share short tempers and major meltdowns, sometimes we share giggles and snuggles
Some days the TV and tablets don’t get touched, sometimes they’re our saving grace.
Some days, the five of us, with seriously diverse personalities meld together perfectly, living in harmony.
Some days we can’t stand to be around each other.

Today will be a survival day, I’ve spent weeks nurturing sick babies, moving, unpacking and just doing doing doing. Today I’ll push the baskets of laundry to the side, sweep the floors, and cuddle with my babies, play superheroes and baby dolls. Today I’m not worrying about what someone would think if they showed up, because today is a day to focus on enjoying the time I have with three amazing, smart, beautiful, and loving little humans.

Where there is love, laughter, and joy there is never failure.

Today I will focus on filling our love cups and rejuvenating our souls.

My life tends to take little growth spurts every now and then.
I’m forced to grow emotionally in ways that I never thought I would.

Right now I’m going through an awkward growth period where I’m not sure what to do with myself. I’m struggling to find my perfect place in this life, I hope some day I can look back on this season of life as a place of transformation (quarter life crisis maybe?) where I rise from the ashes of weird insecure and unsure to become someone better, someone more enlightened, someone more *me*.

Sometimes I let the mundane day to day tasks get me down. Changing diapers, washing dishes, laundry. Sitting at home and not go go going. It’s tough sometimes for me to just shut down and enjoy. My mind fills with things that need to be done, things that should be done, the way my life is supposed to look.

There are to-do lists a mile long in my head, grocery lists, meal planning, trying to socialize. It just never quite turns off. I lay in bed and think myself to sleep and according to fitbit my sleep is really really lacking.

I question myself as a parent 95% of the day, I try to fit in to some perky little box that moms and wives should fit into these days and I just don’t quite fit in at all. I am not a mainstream parent, I do a lot of things that make mainstream parents raise their eyebrows. I’m not a “crunchy” parent either, because I’m “too mainstream”. So I go about my day wondering where I fit in.

I’m sitting here, in the darkness of my bedroom, listening to two of my babies snoring away, wondering why we ever have to get caught up in the shoulds and coulds of life. Why do I need to prove to everyone that I can make sound parenting decisions, or that I have it all together (newsflash, most of the time I don’t) Why do I think I have to say yes when I really, desperately want to say no way and curl up in my pjs with my babies watching cartoons?

Today I vow to take life day by day, hour by hour, hurdle by hurdle. I want to cast aside every preconceived idea I ever had about motherhood, and marriage. I want to grow, and learn, today I take back my wonder of the world. Next year, next month, next week, I want to be able to pinpoint to today and say “that’s the day I decided to change my path” “there is the moment that pivoted my entire life”

I don’t want to take anything for granted. I don’t want to wish I had done things different. I don’t want to lay in bed at night and wish I had stood up for myself, or wish I had gone out and had conversations. I don’t want to question the things I choose for me and my family.

I want to live. I want to live with a vengeance. I want to collapse into bed at night with my husband and kids exhausted from the excitement and events of the day. I want giggles and hugs and kisses, I want a home filled with love and joy (and probably a lot of messes along the way) where we can grow, and learn, and figure life out together.

I am a mom full of problems

There are days I just KNOW it’s going to be an awful day, the second I wake up I can just feel that awful just go back to bed and start over feeling.

I’m an introvert, I love being inside my own head, I love just relaxing with myself, by myself, for myself.
I’m also a people pleaser, I give every ounce of everything I have every day to other people. At the end of the day I feel pretty empty, and hollow. I feel like there has been nothing I’ve accomplished for myself. I sneak showers in every few days after everyone else is asleep, just a few minutes in case a kid needs me, and I desperately want to spend a little bit of time snuggling up with my husband.

I feel horrible for neglecting myself, and beat myself up over the fact that when I’m exhausted and empty I have a really really tough time parenting well. Exhaustion for me is a really bad sign that shutting down is following closely behind, mindlessly browsing the internet, vegging out to the tv, or netflix. Exhausted neglectful days are usually the days that the kids make a wild mess of the house, nothing gets done, and everyone gets yelled at, a lot.

When I stop taking care of myself and making myself happy I start to get overwhelmed… FAST. I get fidgety knowing what all needs to be done but I just can’t muster up any motivation or energy to do absolutely anything. Luckily the baby still emotionally feeds off of how I’m feeling day by day, if I’m feeling lazy and snuggly, she has no problem curling up with mommy and hanging out on the couch all day.

I have to make the conscious decision to put myself first, sometimes. I just can’t, I don’t feel like it’s okay. I’m trying really hard to get to the point where I can just do what I need, go to bed early, fuel my body with the food and drink it needs. I need to run a bubble bath and be a little bit selfish every once in a while. But I just can’t get there, I stay up waiting for Tyler when I know I should be asleep. I try to keep our kids busy on the weekends so they enjoy time with their dad. I don’t know how to just take care of myself. Until it’s the only thing I can do. I find myself drained so much that basic survival for the kids and I are about as good as it gets for a couple of days.

I find myself so angry, so sad, so hurt. With the kids, with my husband. I feel like I have no control over anything in life, I want to be able to control everyones happiness and make sure they’re 100% happy 100% of the time.

I guess the first step to getting better is admitting there is a problem.
I have a problem.
I have many problems.
Sometimes I AM the problem.
Not caring for myself is a problem.
Not being an active, alert, calm parent is a problem.
Not giving my children the stability and harmony of a good routine is a problem.
Living in the past is a problem.
Not fueling our bodies with the best food possible is a problem.
Not taking time to fuel the flame of my marriage is a problem.
Letting my anxiety flood my senses is a problem.
Not owning mistakes and placing blame is a problem.

I have many many more problems that I could go on for hours typing, but today, tonight, I’m taking a stand. I’m owning everything in my mind, my heart, my life that I have fed that I have grown, I am taking a stand to fix my problems. I am going to turn our family around and not fail them as a mother, and wife anymore. I will shut down the negative, hurtful, anxious, angry thoughts that follow me around every single day.

I will start caring for myself, feeding my body the fuel it needs, the sleep it needs, the meditation and prayer it needs.
I will promise to my children to be an active alert and calm parent. I will be their calm place, I will run with them until their energy dies down and they’re ready to collapse, I will be in tune with their needs, and emotions.
I will start giving my family the stability and comfort that every single home and family should have, predictable routines, harmonious in sync bedtimes and bath times and when something comes up at work and their daddy can’t be home they will know that mommy will keep things together, mommy will keep the routines in check because when daddy gets back life will go on as a family.
I will stop living in the past, bringing up past mistakes, I can’t change anything in the past, I can only live for today, this moment. My kids are here now, that could all change so living in anything but the present is taking away precious moments, memories, from my family.
I will start making sure our family is eating a whole, balanced, junk free diet. As a family we are filling our bodies with awful food, soda, junk, cookies, candy. It’s my job as my children’s mother to help them form good relationships with food, it’s my job as the stay at home mother and wife to make sure my husband is getting the food his body needs to keep him happy and on point at work.
I will promise to start actively working on praising my husband more, hugging more, kissing more, spending more time loving my husband, laughing with my husband. We chose each other to spend the rest of our lives with, we have all the time in the world to grow together, learn things together, cherish each other.
I will stop putting all of the blame for negative things that happen in our lives on anyone but me, I choose my thoughts, I choose what is in my heart. What I think and what floods my heart is mirrored by what’s going on in our lives. I have the power to make my life wonderful, which will in turn make my familys lives wonderful.
I will openly admit every mistake that I make and apologize to the people I hurt along the way.

Today, I promise to turn my life, my family dynamic, my home around.
xoxo

This year has ended up being quite the whirlwind. The baby spent 9 days in Childrens hospital, half of those in the PICU, Tyler lost his job, Tyler found a new job, we moved 700 miles, got rid of my childhood home.

It’s just been one for the books for sure. I never would have even fathomed we would move away from small town Illinois again, let alone to Louisiana. It fits us though, well me at least. I LOVE the hot weather, and the fact that we won’t see snow, living close to the beach, the culture. I love that my kids are seeing new culture. My husband however, is not a big fan of the heat.

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He became a lineman. This was something I was in no way prepared for. Being an Army wife was simple, you knew when they were going to the field, getting deployed. This lineman wife business is no joke, at the drop of a hat he could get sent to a storm, at two in the morning on a Sunday he can be called to a down pole from a car accident. There is never any prediction as to when he can or can’t be called out. He’s working tons of hours every single week.

The kids are in bed before he is home a lot of the time, and are up after he’s gone. Weekends when he gets called out is heartbreaking for them. They miss their daddy, and have had a lot of time with him where he is home all day in between jobs.

It’s tough, more tough than I EVER imagined it would be. But we’re learning, we’re getting better at knowing not to plan too much on a weekend, we’re learning to not take the time we have together as a family for granted. I’m branching out trying to meet other lineman wives who get what we’re going through.

But I can’t help but feel like I’m being so selfish, most of the lineman wives I have met have their husbands gone for weeks, months at a time. Some of them live in a camper and travel all over the place with their husbands. I feel like I should be grateful for the fact that my husband is home at some point every single night, even if it’s just enough time to eat sleep and leave again.

I’ve spent the last two months sitting around the apartment with the kids being mopey because Ty isn’t home, or gets called out when we get settled in, instead of learning to adapt and finding ways to make our lives run as smoothly as possible in this situation.

when I just want to be mom

Lately my days have started to run together, make beds, breakfast, play, clean, lunch, naps, dinner, baths, bed, repeat. Day in and day out it’s pretty much the same, Tyler is usually home late from work, the kids usually find every way possible to test my limits. Most days I look around and feel like I’m drowning, like I’m a child trying to play house and I’m failing miserably.

The only thing that changes is the fact that Monday I could be totally Mary freaking Poppins, everything is kept in order and tidy, everyone is fed and happy and get along, laundry stays caught up, dishes stay clean… but the day after a Mary Poppins day I crash…HARD…it’s like I don’t have the energy in me to do all of that all over again.

There has to be a balance somewhere, getting things done without the burnout. Its just when I’m in the cleaning mood I am in the mood to get stuff done, right then and there. When I’m not I am just not even thinking about it.. I want to curl up with the kids and veg out to movies and not worry about being a home maker, some days I just want to be mom. Some days I want to ship my kids off to grandmas and be a home maker.

Since the holidays our house has been a disaster, and day in and day out I have freaked out trying to get into some sort of order. I get angry with the kids, angry with Tyler, angry with myself. Every single room in our house has boxes or bags of things we got for Christmas, waiting to be opened and put away. But I just can’t get there. I can’t get it done.

It’s not that I don’t want to, oh I do, it’s just that I have the day to day things to take care of as well so putting all of the Christmas loot away has taken a back seat. Mostly because there just isn’t anywhere to put the stuff….

Every single day I have stressed about how the house looks, then I battled sickness for most of this month, but continued to stress. There is no wiggle room for me, either the house is in immaculate shape, or a complete chaotic mess. The funny thing is that both scenarios cause me the exact same amount of stress.

When the house is a mess I stress about if someone were to stop by, or wanting to be the perfect mom and wife in other peoples eyes. When the house is clean I stress about every single little thing out of place and no one is happy.

So the last two days I’ve given up in a sense. I’ve snuggled with my babies, snuggled with my husband. Stopped worrying about what someone else would say about my house, or lack of getting everyone out of pajamas and just relaxed and oh my goodness it has felt AMAZING. Granted Monday starts a whole new routine and cleaning schedule, but I’m going to stop doing everything at once, do a few chores a day and if my house isn’t clean enough for people then they can not come around. Life is too short to work on having an immaculately clean house 24/7. helping my babies play, learn and grow is more important than having that basket (or pack n play) of laundry folded and put away.

This weekend I fully plan on enjoying my handsome husband and amazing kiddos completely mess and all instead of rushing around trying to “catch up” And it feels so good to take the weight of what everyone thinks about my house, or pajama days (weeks?). Its time for the Wallace family to live for us. Love and enjoy eachother rather than stress about what everyone else is thinking or saying.🙂

I’m also going to actively try to be thankful every.single.day