Learning to fight better, accept more, appreciate daily and stay in love with my husband

Posts tagged ‘parents’

Vomit In My Hair, Love In My Heart

I have to admit that when I imagined being married, when I was a little girl, I didn’t picture myself sitting next to the toilet bowl, with vomit in my hair and my husband standing next to me wondering what to do.  It is not the picture of romance is it? . . . . Or maybe it is.

Of the many health issues that I am prone to, migraines is one of them.  A handful of times a year, I find myself at the mercy of pain that debilitates me, has me bent over the toilet heaving, blinded, thinking I am dying, that there is no way to the other side of the pain.

For those of you who suffer from migraines, I know you understand.  For those of you who don’t, I hope that you never have to know the feeling.

Sadly, I had to spend all of Saturday in bed, in the dark, with a washcloth over my eyes, drugs at my beside, unable to keep anything down, praying every second for the pain to pass.

I literally could think of nothing but the pain.  Nothing but trying to stay as still as possible and stop the hurting.  I didn’t think about my kids or wonder what they were doing.  I didn’t worry about if they had food or if they needed anything.  I physically couldn’t begin to think about anything other than pain.

At about 4 in the afternoon, after the pain had subsided enough for me to open my eyes, it dawned on me that I hadn’t given my kids a thought all day.  More than that, I hadn’t had  to give them a thought.  I was secure in knowing that Daddy was there and they would be taken care of.  I didn’t need to worry about anything.

Then I thought, how lucky I am.  I am so grateful to have this person to share my life with, even when things suck.  How lucky I am to know someone has my back.  That someone is there so share in the endless and exhausting responsibility of parenting.

If I had been a single parent, I am not sure I would have made it thru the day. All I could think was, how do single parents do it?  How unbelievably challenging it must be.  To not even be able to be sick for one day.  God bless all of the single parents out there who have to get thru each day without the support of a spouse.  My hats off to you.  You are saints. You are truly amazing.

Thank God, that I have support of a great Hubby.  One that I don’t have to tell what to do.  He just did it.  Without complaint.  He let me recover in the silence of the room, drove 30 minutes away to get me medicine, and brought me french fries when my stomach had settled.

When I was able to think enough to find gratitude, I thought, this is what marriage is about.  It is about supporting each other when you are at your worst. It is about taking over when the other can’t stand on their own feet.  It is about reassuring that everything will be okay.  It is about saying, “Your Beautiful” when they have vomit in their hair.  Now that is love.  Now that is worth fighting for.

Today’s Lesson In Marriage:  Find gratitude for in my most desperate moments for all that Hubby does to help me through.

photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc

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Hit The Road, Jack!

As promised here are some things that I have learned from the many family trips we have taken. Maybe you will find a little tidbit useful to incorporate in your upcoming family travels.

– Save ahead of time for the trip. It is great to have money that you have already put aside for vacation. We stash a little bit here and there every year so that by the time vacation rolls around we have what we need to do what we want to do. It would to have sucked to have traveled to Galveston, but not have had the funds to play on the pier. Even if you don’t have a lot of money for travel you can take a road trip closer to home. You don’t have to travel 4500 miles to reconnect with your family and get time away.

– Planning ahead is best. Some of the biggest arguments husband and I have had on vacation have been over which hotel to stay at. I just want a clean bed and shower he wants it to be the cheapest bed in town (clean or not). I say, come to an agreement on where to stay before you leave and book the rooms early. There is nothing worse than looking for a place to rest your head when you are tired and hungry. It just sets you up for arguments.

– Learn about your destination ahead of time. Is it expensive? Will you have to pay for parking everywhere you go? How far is it from other places you may want to visit? What is the weather like? I feel it is best to know these things ahead of time. It would be awful to find out you have to spend $25 a day in parking when you get there and realize you didn’t budget for that.

– Bring lots of activities for the kids. For road trips and long airplane rides you need distractions. It doesn’t have to be continuous, but something to help pass the time is very helpful. This year I brought road trip games that I had prepared before we left and I brought goodies for the kids to periodically reward them for good behavior. I also bought a few new things in the dollar section of Target (like little white boards and road atlases for each of them) so they had new things to look at or play with on the drive. We also let them listen to their IPod or watch movies on the IPad, but I did make sure that this time was limited. The point of a family vacation is to connect and communicate. You can’t do that if you are plugged in the whole time.

– Be still for a while. We like to travel somewhere and then stay for a few days before we move to our next destination. It not only gives you time to explore certain places, but also breaks up the monotony of being in the car for so many days. A vacation should feel like a vacation. Time to relax and unwind a bit. If you pack too much in, you will only feel exhausted and unrested. Make sure you take some time to chill. Have a day with nothing planned. Those are always my favorites.

– Get the kids their own room. For me, this is key for a happy vacation. Husband and I must have time to connect too and can’t do that easily in a hotel room with the kids in the bed right next to you. We always try to get a suite that has a door so that the kids can have their space and grown ups can have theirs. If we are in a place for a week or so, we will rent a house on VRBO.com. It usually ends up being around same price as a hotel would be, but you have a lot more space. The kids love it too. They need a break from Mom and Dad too!

– Plan activities for everyone. Give everyone a say in what they would like to get out of the vacation. In Texas, my daughter wanted to swim, husband wanted to visit Dealy Plaza, son wanted to visit the Nasa Space Center, and I just wanted to sit in a quiet space and read. We accommodated everyone.

Most of all, just treasure the moments. Each is so special. Even the times you are arguing you may look back on with a grin. Like remember that time that we took that dirt back road through Arizona that took us 5 hours longer than we anticipated and we were thoroughly pissed at each other by the time we it pavement? I will never forget 🙂

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage: Continue to take family vacations and build precious memories.

Lose Yourself

A friend of mine was over at my house crying the other day.  She was talking about her marriage, how it is not what she wants it to be.  She shared about her teenage son and how he can be so awful to her.  I felt sad for her.  She was overwhelmed and lost.

One thing she said really rang true for me.  She said, “I don’t even know who I am anymore.”

Boy, don’t I know that feeling.

From the outside, my life looks perfect.  My friends view me and my life through rose-colored glasses.

Don’t get me wrong.  I live a great life. I have everything a girl could want, but that certainly doesn’t mean I have always been happy.

A couple of years ago, I felt just as my friend, lost.  Completely unaware of who I was anymore.  I was buried in being a wife and mother.   I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just mean it was all I knew.  It was how I defined myself.  I think it tends to be a common thread with the women I know.  We give everything to our families and kids and have little or nothing left over for ourselves.  Every ounce of my energy was devoted to them.  I completely forgot who I was.

That is what I signed on for.  I was committed to being the best Mom and Wife I could be. But what I didn’t realize was, in the process I had lost sight of me.   I couldn’t tell you what I liked, what passions I had, what made me happy (aside from my family), what  dreams I had for myself.  I had no idea.    I was unhappy, frustrated and lost.

I realized a couple of years ago, that had to change.  If I wasn’t taking care of myself, I certainly wasn’t doing a service to my family.

I decided that I needed to find a passion.  Something for me.  I thought about things that I wanted to learn. Cooking was the first thing that came to mind.  I am a very average cook.  I can follow a recipe, but beyond that I know very little.  When I shared my desire to learn to cook with my sister, she shared that she had the same desire.  Not surprising.  My sister didn’t know how to boil noodles.  We decided to enlist our Mom (who frankly, hates to cook) and learn to cook together.

So, for the last year and a half we have had regular cooking nights once or twice a month. We enjoyed it so much that we started filming our cooking and posting recipes.  We call it     3 Women 3 Dishes http://3women3dishes.blogspot.com/   .  It has become a fun bonding time for the three of us. We burn things, under-cook, over-cook, put in too much salt, forget ingredients, splatter the entire kitchen with oil, and we have a blast.  I get time away from the kids to pursue something that has become a passion and I get to hang out with the two most important women in my life.

Once I started doing this for myself, I began to have a new perspective.  I started to figure out what I liked and what made me happy and, most importantly, make time for it.  I began to feel like I, personally, had something to offer this world.

What else did I want to explore about myself?  Earlier this year I started taking guitar lessons.  Something I had always wanted to do.  I started jogging and realized I really like that too.  I started blogging and fulfilling a passion of writing.

I was lost, but I am on a path to finding myself.  I assume it is a lifelong journey and that is okay with me.  As long I as I am present for it.

I am no longer just defined as a Mom or a Wife, but as Tammy. I am  wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, average cook, beginning guitarist, sometimes jogger, dancer, reader, writer, lover, listener, dreamer, trier of new things, lover of old things, good person, who deserves good things.  I am me.

I still give everything I have to my kids and my husband, but I always try to save just a little piece for myself too.   And trust me, we are all happier because of it.

Todays lesson in improving my marriage : I am worth it!

Tammy