I have noticed something.
Something I don't have a name for.
Something I am utterly baffled by.
Something that needs to change.
In short, I need help.
I have Adult Proximity Disorder.
Or perhaps I should call it Imposer Friend Syndrome? Instant Friend Attachment?
The problem is this. Every time I go to the gym, or to the grocery store...or even to the library or the park with my kids, I am apparently starving for adult interaction. I crave it.
And, my emotional vulnerability and lack of time for friendships...unhinges my mouth.
I word vomit everywhere.
It just all comes out. My frustrations over my kids. My changing body. The dishes. The laundry. The way I feel discontent and inadequate all the time. How tired I am. Because no one is sleeping. And I'm always tired. Why does no one sleep.
I usually say to much. To a stranger. At the park.
Yes, I'm THAT mom.
Sometimes as I am unburdening my shriveled, starved little mom-heart out I see the person I am talking to just...disconnect. So I try to hold it in. I try to stop.
Once again, I am too much. Once again, I am not enough.
You know how the younger generation is all concerned about being ghosted? Like the boy or girl they are dating just never talks to them again, changes their number or just ignores their texts?
I am tired of being ghosted, but its not by teen boys. It's by other moms. Oh, I know we are all tired. I know we all have a million things to do. But when I can't tell if you are just being polite or if you actually want to be my friend, we have a problem. So many times I have tried to become friends with another mom and been, for lack of a better word, ghosted.
And I understand, I do. Because I have ghosted other women myself. I didn't mean too, but in between pregnancy and childbirth and one to two babies, I lost touch with a lot of people and I know it hurt them. I know they still hurt, because I also hurt.
We moms battle tantrums and angsty tweens while juggling our own mental problems, not to mention the rotation wheel that is housework, cooking, and husbands. But here is the thing. If you don't want to be my friend, its okay to just tell me. If you want to be my friend, but don't have time, that is okay too. Lets communicate. We can text. E-mail once a week. I don't want my friendship to be burden. I'm trying to do the same. To reach out when I'm feeling overwhelmed and anxious, not to fall inward into isolation
But we don't always communicate, do we. Sometimes I just shut down and instigate radio silence. Followed by a text a few weeks, sometimes months later that goes something like.......I'm so sorry, things have been crazy, how are you doing?
And things are crazy. Mom life is crazy.
But what I am saying is, just like you need to learn how to break up with your boyfriend, we need to learn to break up as mom friends. Maybe that is the wrong term, but there does seem to be a communication issue here. A peer pressure problem, too. So many moms are introverts (spoiler, I am not) yet often feel the need to be "polite" and have "friends" and go "out" when what they really need is to stay home and be alone. And saying that should be okay. We push and push ourselves to have a active home life and have friends and make crafts with our kids and sex with our husbands on at least a semi-regular basis. But I find it hard to have my cake and eat it too, and not just because it contains gluten.
I think that is the thing behind the mom-ghosting. The "and". We try to have a home life "and" __________. Sometimes I can't even have a ordered existence within our four walls, much less without. And so I shut down, stop communicating, when I need to talk the most. The last four years since I became a mother have been the hardest and the most transformational for me as a person. And I'm not a butterfly, I'm some type of wet puddle.
I do need friends. I also need to stop venting to strangers. I find that last sentence highly amusing since here I am...blogging...but you are not a stranger, right? You love me and want to hear all about how I got rug burn in yoga class, and how I ate pizza for the first time in six years last week. It was delicious.
I miss just being alone in my own head and not having tiny humans to manage. But I love them, even if they make me a bit crazy.
I don't even know what the point of this post is, it got lost somewhere between cake and friendship. Have a good night, friends.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Monday, October 14, 2019
I can't believe I have been married eight years! It feels like yesterday.
I have grown to love my husband more every day and appreciate him more and more. We now have two beautiful children and will begin homeschooling officially next year.
Marriage has been all I ever dreamed of and more. Every day I learn something about my husband—small things, like how the winkles around his eyes crinkle when he looks at me, or how cared and loved I feel when he does the dishes without asking. I love to watch him play with our wild kids in the evening when I am worn out. I look over the top of my book usually, as I rest on the couch as he romps around with Reuben and Rebekah on the floor.
I was thinking this past week that there is one big thing I have learned thus far in marriage. I didn't go into marriage with this, it came slowly. In fact, my expectations lay the opposite direction.
I went into marriage thinking that my spouse would be the best version of himself. In the past when he did something I perceived as wrong or if I saw sin in his life, I would be angry at him. His sins used to make me feel unloved, or not cared for. I would say things like “why did you do _______ don't you love me?” As if his love for me would keep him on the right track.
I don't think this way at all anymore.
I married a sinful man. I am a struggling, sinful woman (saved by grace) who married another struggling sinful man. We will struggle with sin the rest of our lives, and I—as my husband's wife—get an intimate view of not only my own sins now, but my spouse's as well.
I went into marriage expecting not to see his sins. I thought he would be on his best behavior all the time for me because that is what he was when we were dating. Now, after eight years of marriage I am not surprised when I find out my husband is struggling. I am no longer angry when he disobeys one of God's commandments. I expect it, actually. Yes. I expect my husband to sin.
We are fallen humans who will struggle with sin all our lives while we are here on this earth. My role, now, as Brian's wife isn't to get angry or point fingers at him when he does something wrong. My job is to come alongside him, uplift him spiritually, pray for him, counsel him—but most of all love him. Love him because that is what he needs as he personally struggles with his own sin against God.
Please note I am not talking about out of control, non-confessed sin in his life, or ongoing abuse situations. My husband is not systematically abusive. I am so thankful to have a safe marriage. If you are in an unsafe or abusive marriage, by all means I am not telling you to love your husband as he beats you. I would tell that woman to love her husband by not allowing him to hurt her or others.
Now when my husband sins or I see what I would deem a “personal failing” in his life, I support him instead of getting angry. I realize he is human and he is struggling. I recognize my own struggles as I see him struggle, and I become his biggest cheerleader. I no longer feel like he doesn't love me or care about me when he is disobeying God. I know he does love me, fiercely so. But his inward battle in his heart will never be over until he joins the kingdom of God. He is broken. I am broken.
My husband already has God telling him what he should and should not do. He doesn't need another person like me, his wife, to reiterate what God has already said. He needs another person there holding his hand, praying for him, and not leaving his side so that we can traverse together.
Thus we cling to God and try to make it through. I am here as another oarsman rowing in my husband's boat—our boat now, our marriage boat—trying to make it intact as we sail the storms and skirt the mirages that the open sea throws at us. I see us in a tiny vessel, barely big enough to hold our family, sailing the wide ocean with our lantern of God's light gleaming on the masts. One day we will make it home to heaven, but until then—expect dangerous waters. Expect sharks and leaky afts and thunderstorms.
Try to row with the man you married, not against him.
The war with own own flesh as we battle God's commands is a deeply personal one. I have had my husband try and help me with addictions in my own life and he was not able to. I had to meet those sins head on and only I, with God, can change myself. But my husband was there. He was cheering me on, letting me know he loved me even when I failed.
If my husband is a God-given lifeboat in this world, I want to be the same for him.
If we are going to struggle, lets struggle together.