January 26, 2011

So, life has been tough...

and I'm ready to talk about it. I definitely don't want to give off the impression on this blog that my life is perfect. It is far from perfect. Being fake is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine and I had a realization this week that I often try to focus on positive, happy things on the blog. Which is a good thing, but I don't anyone under the impression that our life is just perfect. So I decided it was time to come out and talk about the struggles I've been having lately. Some will be vague and others I've discussed on the blog before. I've been struggling to stay afloat and now I realize I've made goals. (I'm not a New Year's Eve Resolution kind of girl. Everybody is doing it then and most goals don't stick.) I'm a goal oriented person. I don't always stick to my goals but I am often making mental goals. So I'll share some of those too.

Parenting is tough. Three boys ages 7 and under. One with some anxiety issues and major opposition to anything mom/dad says. Another stuck in the terrible two's. One who doesn't want to do anything for himself. It is hard to always follow through with parenting threats/consequences. Kids can be manipulative. Sometimes when life is hard it is easier to give in. But I'm done. The boys have been driving me crazy and the house has been wild for too long. Too many battles. Too much whining. So I'm reading The Well Behaved Child by John Rosemond and trying some new things at home. I kind of made up my own version of some of his suggestions as I've not gotten very far in the book yet. (Don't have a whole lot of reading time!) We're just using a strike system - 3 strikes and you're out. Which means you go to your room for a pre-determined amount of time. On the past two snow days it was going to be 90 minutes in the afternoon. Neither Luke or Wilson got to strike 3. Yesterday late afternoon, Wilson got to strike 3 for the first time. I told him to go to his room and he could only come out for dinner, homework, and getting ready for bed. He sobbed. I didn't back down. He came to dinner and approached his homework like a totally different child! Wednesday nights are always hard because we get home from church around 8:20. I have 3 boys to get ready for bed alone b/c Andy isn't home then and it is always a nightmare. But tonight, I reminded the boys of the strike system. Told them if they got to strike 3 tonight then their consequences would be tomorrow afternoon/evening. It was a wonderful bedtime. Now, consistency is the key for me & Andy! One small success and I am feeling tons better in this area already.

So juggling marriage, working on communicating better with Andy, 3 children who are all BOYS!, working full time in a demanding job, keeping up with a house/laundry/cooking/etc, church, friends, on and on and on...this causes me to often feel like I'm failing. Because it is hard for me to stay afloat. I have high expectations for myself and I honestly get overwhelmed WAY too easily. I want to be able to handle everything life throws at me but I don't seem to be able to very well. I don't like to "need" others. Mostly because I don't want to bother anyone. (SEE NEXT PARAGRAPH!) I often carry that over to not relying on God as well and that won't work out so well. So I hold things in and don't talk or pray about it until I'm bursting. Working on that too.

I struggle with insecurity and am also reading Beth Moore's book, So Long Insecurity with my small group. I didn't realize how much I struggle with this until I started reading. I knew I had insecurities, just didn't realize how they hide under the surface to the point that you don't realize insecurity is a driving force in so many situations. God is really teaching me a lot about myself right now. Andy and I are also slowly reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs together. (As you can see I have mentioned 3 books I'm reading which tells you some of my goals. Plus I'm reading The Girl Who Played With Fire for by Steig Larsson - just for enjoyment!)

So. My goals in RANDOM order:
1. Consistency with my parenting. Don't let them take advantage. Be firm and consistent. I'm taking notes on my parenting book and I'll share them on the blog at some point.
2. Work on my insecurities and belive in myself. I come across as having it all together (at least I think I do!) but so often it feels as if I'm barely holding it together. :)
3. Keep reading the book with Andy and applying it to our marriage.
4. EXERCISE - for my physical and emotional health. Plus it give me time for MYSELF. I exercised yesterday for the first time in almost 6 months. When I was at the walk in clinic on Saturday the nurse said "your blood pressure is great! You must work out a lot!" I laughed. My friend also told me I had to start exercising twice a week for reasons mentioned above . My legs are so sore after the SHRED last night...
5. Somehow not let myself get so overwhelmed...not sure how to do this other than pray. And I need to do more of that anyway.
6. Borrow the book about Terrible Two's by John Rosemond from the library...not sure if that is the exact title.

That's all from my heart for now.


Cara said...

I'm sure it feels good to get all of that out and off of your chest! Life is hard and we all just take it a day at at time. You are doing a great job and it sounds like you have some great goals to help make life less overwhelming.

Julie said...

Alyssa, I am totally there with ya! Life is hard sometimes, and it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day struggles. I stay at home with my 4 1/2 year old and 1 1/2 year old. I feel caged in lots of days, like my days are all the same, I crave social interaction with other adults! I go to the YMCA here in Paris for "me" time in the mornings, and don't get alone time again until 8:30pm. My son is very difficult (getting better, but some days are HARD), and my daughter is headed for the Terrible Twos! My husband doesn't get home at night until 7, usually around bathtime and bedtime. So, I don't get much help. Wow....exhausting just writing it all down! I love my family and wouldn't change a thing, but some days are pretty stressful. Hang in there, that's what I tell myself everyday! :)

Anonymous said...

You are the best and you know that you are loved by LOTS of people. Know that you can always, ALWAYS call (even if it's just to scream). Curtis and I also love kids and would always give you and Andy a date night if you feel like you don't want to "bother" anyone else (even though it's never a bother and we all LOVE you). Hang in there, friend . . . you're awesome!