Monday, September 17, 2012

brothers start school aaaand i start being sentimental. blah.

so if you've read my blog for quite some time,
you've probably noticed changes in my mood over time.
but surely
i've lost control with each additional kid.
i joke with people now and tell them not to judge me by my last two children.
i used to be a good mother.  i really did.
i just lost complete and utter control of my life after isaak.
and there aren't even words to describe myself after august.
it's ugly.
like literally.
my brain fell OUT of my head.
onto the concrete.
and is probably somewhere
cooking like eggs on the cement.
cuz it sure as cuss isn't in my head anymore.
i mean do i even need to go into this?
i stopped blogging because of those last two rats
for crying out loud!
so since moving here Lover and i have discussed
putting the brothers in a preschool.
we've gone back and forth on the issue, debating, weighing the options.
until we finally decided to take the plunge.
never again will we be in japan
where the brothers can go to a japanese preschool
and learn the language and this incredible culture.
after searching for what has felt like YEARS,
(because japanese schools' calendar year is from april-march
and most schools didn't have any availability during this time of year
AND i don't speak japanese so i had to enlist of the help
of my really adorable friend, saori, to go with me to appointments
and make phone calls for me)
that was a long paranthesis.
okay now breath.
enter singing angels:
it really is.  it meets all my requirements. 
i love the teachers.  every one of them.
i love the facility.
i love the schedule and curriculum.
it's absolutely perfect for these brothers-o-mine.
so we got all excited!
and went out and bought all our school supplies.
p.e. hats
indoor shoes.
sweat towels.
all the japanese essentials of course.
i was finally about to meet the day i had been dreaming about for the last 12 years.
say this slowly because it's pretty overwhelmingly awesome:
the day that
holy crap. 
even typing it feels unreal.

i know what you're thinking.
how has this fantastic news not given me a heart attack from the sheer amazement alone.
it's glorious i tell you.  it really is.
yes there's always that dadgum mother cussing BUT.
something started to happen to me.
something awful.
something everyone warned me about
but i never chose to believe would be true.
i started to feel

all those years of these 5 rats,
teet sucking
dirtying up EVERYTHING.

and to think one day it will all just
all of it.
mothers are so weird. we really are.
we want, we don't want.
we don't like, we like.
we hate, we miss.
it's quite irritating.
but ultimately, i began to freak out.
is this really what i want?
my last child?
no kids at home?
no one to take to the zoo or park or pool?

seriously i started questioning my ability to receive inspiration and
began confusing spiritual guidance with motherly instinct.
two VERY similar feelings i might add.
i'd spend all day talking myself into this decision
and finally feel good about it
only to find myself in a conversation with someone
mentioning how much i must wanna "get rid of those kids!"
and then i'm back to square one, feeling like a crap mom.

this has gone on for days.
DAYS i tell you.
it's hard on a mutha.
staring at my sweet babies little faces,
thinking about how much i'm going to miss them.
wondering why i'm giving up these precious years
just for a little free time.

and then there was the other side of the argument.
this is a great opportunity for them.
i need to admit to myself that i am not the same anymore.
i need time to be me again.
there will still be plenty of days off of their school
where i can play with them and take them on fun adventures.
if they were home everyday they'd just be fighting and screaming.
i'd never get anything done.
with them at school i might finally be able to clean the house
for the first time in 12 years.

it was never ending.
back and forth and back and forth.
praying and praying for an answer.
looking for guidance in every direction.

then tonight, i was stressing in the kitchen with kids doing homework
brothers running in and outside
and dinner trying to be prepared.
miah came to me with a book he chose from the bookshelf
to use for his 20 minutes of reading.
i don't usually read with him.
i just don't have the time.
i usually make kora or jake.
but tonight he was struggling particularly hard
and after a huge blow up on my part
that was completely unacceptably ugly of me,
i sat down with him to read the book.

the title of the book is
"if i could keep you little..."
by marianne richmond.
it's a book my mom gave me just recently
with a long note to me written on the inside cover.
i'd like to share with you some of my favorite lines from the book.
"if i could keep you little, i'd hum you lullabies.
but then i'd miss you singing, your concerts big surprise."

"if i could keep you little, i'd kiss your cuts and scrapes.
but then i'd miss you learning from your own mistakes."
"if i could keep you little, i'd cut your bread into shapes.
but then i'd miss you finding, "hey! i like ketchup with my grapes!"
"if i could keep you little, i'd tell you stories every night.
but then i'd miss you reading the words you've learned by sight."
"if i could keep you little, we'd nap in our fort midday.
but then i'd miss you sharing adventures from camp away."

and my favorite is the last line.
"if i could keep you little, i'd keep you close to me.
but then i'd miss you growing into who you're meant to be."
and by then, of course, i was in tears.
heart pounding out of my chest.
needless to say these last 4 years have been very difficult for me as a mother.
very trying on me.
very trying on our family
because of me lacking as the mother everyone needs.
i love those two little brothers with all my heart and soul
but they're a bundle of tough
those guys.
i know that as much as i love THEM,
heavenly father loves ME and he wants me to feel NORMAL.
to feel productive.
to finally be able to volunteer at my older kids' schools
and go on field trips with them before they don't have any more
field trips to go on.
i know he wants me to feel like a good wife
who can keep a clean house
and can have dinner ready for everyone.
i know he wants me to find time for myself.
to exercise and meditate
and pray and read my scriptures for more than 10 minutes a day finally.
to be a happy and loving and PATIENT mom
when my kids come home from school
excited to tell me about their day
instead of being annoyed and tired and frustrated by that time of day.

reading that book tonight with miah was all i needed.
it was if heavenly father was speaking to me directly with each word.
an answered prayer.
i am so grateful to have been blessed
as a mother to these 5 sweet spirits.
goodness. aren't they amazing?
how lucky am i? really?!
it's not always a bad thing to have those babies grow up ya know.
it's sad.  it makes mothers cry and act like wieners.
it does.
but it's also kinda awesome :)
if i could keep them little.
all of them.
imagine all of the moments i would have missed
of them growing up.


amylouwhosews said...

You are living in my head, I swear. I lied this. You nailed those crazy emotions right on the head. Love you girl.

amylouwhosews said...

That should say LIKED not lied.

Delightful Domestic Science said...

Am having a melt down with our youngest starting school. Cried through reading this post.

Shannon said...

Well, now I'm crying.
I think it's nice to know as muthas that we are not alone in these feelings. And, I think you're doing the right thing, but you don't need me to tell you that.
And you know what else is nice? On days when you are relaxed and you want that extra time with one or all of your kids, you can pull them out of school for the day. It won't kill them academically and it will probably mean a little extra to them that their time with you is THAT important. At least that's what I tell myself when I do it.

Katherine said...

Uh. Maz. Ing. I think you speak The words so many moms are afraid to say. Best thing ive read in ages.

Heather said...

Oh I am crying now! I have felt the exact same things for the last few weeks. My baby went to school this year and it is hard to let the last one go. But thank you for putting it into perspective! And I need to find that book.....

McKenzie said...

I don't have babies, so I don't know what this must feel like. But I DO know that I think you are a really great, fun, adventurous mom and those kids of yours are blessed to have ya. Thanks for writing, I love reading it! Aaaaand Okinawa in 2 weeks!

Pieces of Us said...

LOVED this! Going to look for that book on amazon right now.
Ps I'm so excited you're blogging again :)

Ashley Eiban said...

Goodness next time remind me to not read a post like this at work! geeze! I think that is part of Motherhood- that we constantly want to keep our babies safe and near us- but we need our own time and space too! You are going to be a better Mom by getting some 'you time' and having time to hang out with your older ones too! Plus what an awesome experience to go to school there!

Unknown said...

THIS...this right the reason that I read blogs. You just shared what I think every mother feels at one point or another. You wrote it honestly, raw and in such a graceful way that I just HAD to leave a comment and say THANK YOU! Thank you for this. You are awesome and your rocked my Monday morning with this.

Keep doing what you're doing. Even if your brain is somewhere cooking on the sidewalk. Mom's don't need brains...we just need heart and you, my friend, have PLENTY of that.

Much love.

melinda 13 said...

Wow what a great post! Cuts straight to the heart, you have perfect words to put it all in perspective. You're a great mom.

Crystal Renee said...

Oh my. I'm in tears Jessica. That book sounds amazing. I have one short of you, but I totally feel how you feel. You're an awesome mom & they love you. I hope become half the mother you are.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot said...

Yayyyy! So happy for you to have your own adventures and get some relaxation in :)

Unknown said...

I am so glad you're back! My youngest is now the only kid at home, and will be that way for the next three years. I'm having a really hard time dealing with the approaching end of baby years, he's two and I know it happens so fast from here. One day I will turn around and he'll be a little boy and not a baby anymore. I so needed that today! You're an awesome Mom with awesome kids and I aspire to be like you when and if I grow up :)

Tara said...

OMG, HUGE *sigh* Love this post. Jade was just invited to a "Senior" party, d*#@ that went by fast. I was JUST thinking of how much I miss Japanese preschool and Japan in general, (just had some recent reminders in the last few days) I can't even believe you would consider NOT sending your children to preschool there! After seeing more than a decade past and my friends who sent their children and forced their children to learn the language... those kids are absolutely A-MAZING and BRILLIANT. Must be the Japanese. ;)I am so SO incredibly jealous you are there, it hurts, seriously. Enjoy the ride crazy mother, you are doing fine! Let go, be messy with life, and enjoy the incredible experience of living in that country...your children will never forget and will always treasure! (even with a brainless mom...which in my opinion, produces healthier kids than a mom who is on top of everything, has pretty dinner settings, and kids are always in matching clothes) *love!*

Tara said...

...and yes, I'm crying. I have NO brain as a mother, I'm sure Linds would attest that whatever you think you lack...I'm worse. Would sure be easier with one or two less kids, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Just had to add that last bit. I really do think you are amazing the less brain you have, Go Jess!

Unknown said...

I love reading your blog. Period.

michele said...

Lovely post! Thank you so much for sharing.

Amanda said...

Seriously....did u have to make me cry today? I was already bawling bc of a plumbing problem that is gonna cost mucho $$$. Now you have me thinking about all this too! It's too much for this girl today! That was ur best post least from my bad memory.

Nicole Dianne said...

i hope i can be a mom JUST like you one day.

you seriously rock, from head to toe :)

Denise Wiggins said...

Great blog post.. you are an amazing woman and MOMMY!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Sorry ant the test comment. I almost can never comment on blogs from my ancient first gen iPad so I didn't want to type something out and then lose it. But looks like I can comment on yours, so yay!!!

Sorry I didn't comment sooner. I read this the day you posted it but I guess I was assuming it wouldn't let me. Anyway.

This post was AWESOME. I could have written it myself about homeschooling. The big kids started public school this year and I had such a hard time with making the decision and now the guilt. It's ugly. You're awesome. This post was spectacular. Love love.

Paige said...

Jessica, that really is scarily similar to what I'm going through right now, except that I just can't afford to send my 5-year-old to kindergarten (which he NEEDS desperately. Practically a medical need.) so I HAVE to work full-time, and consequently, also send my 3-year-old to school with him. So for me, what's really hard was not my son going to kindergarten, but leaving my 3-year-old with someone else (who I feel should still have 2 more years at home with me). So yes, I really understand what you're going through only I will probably have LESS free time now... Ah well. Good luck on their first day. I'm sure they'll love it (of course it's my 3-year-old who has no problem with the transition and my 5-year-old who's struggling...) Ah life...

Nissa-Lynn said...

I'm so glad I found out about your blog through my our friend Katy Bettner. Your post are so inspiring and real. You rock. Thanks for this post. It made my heart so happy.

Chernobyl said...

Was reading through the GD kitchen blog and saw your button, so I had to pop over and lurk a bit. Hope you guys are still doing well way over there in Japan. I'm aware that you are probably not my biggest fan, but I'm actually totally ok with that. Just wanted to say that I still enjoy reading your work and wish you the best. Plus it was fun to see Carolina at my in-laws ward last weekend, which reminded me of all of this and yada-yada. So, be well and have a great summer. - Cheryl